Friday, July 17, 2009

Read, Write, and Share with a Class Blog

I recently attended a session at K12 Online Conference; "Using Web2.0 Tools in a Grade One Classroom." Even though the presentation is from 2006, it was the most emailed session listed. Kathy Cassidy of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada started a blog with her 1st grade classroom using Blogmeister. Her students posted their thoughts about what thtey had learned in words, pictures, video and audio podcasts. They used their KidPix artwork to decorate the blog. We use KidPix quite a bit with our younger students. I had not thought about how easy it would be to export the student artwork as jpegs, upload to Flicker as Cassidy did, and then embed in a blog or wiki. I was impressed that they posted podcasts as well as video. The class shared their blog with a class in New Zealand, prompting lots of interest in that country as well as in reading their partner blogs. Partnering with a far-away school is a great idea for a class blog. Blogmeister can help with this since on the log-in page, you can select a state or country and "browse for bloggers." Parents and grandparents visited the blog, read the posts and left comments. Her students were excited to write in the blog and were thrilled to see how many people had visited and viewed their work. Having an audience is so motivating for students--and teachers--of any age.

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